Police Officers Killed in 'Horrific' Head-On Crash

Susan Farrell, Carlos Puente-Morales die on the scene
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2016 7:00 PM CDT
Updated Mar 28, 2016 4:03 AM CDT
Police Officers Killed in 'Horrific' Head-On Crash
Carlos Puente-Morales (left) and Susan Farrell.   (Des Moines Police Dept.)

Two police officers in Des Moines, Iowa, have died in a head-on collision with a wrong-way car while transporting an inmate in the middle of the night, KCCI reports. "It was a horrific accident, probably one of the [worst] I've seen," says a rep for the Des Moines Police Department. Officers Susan Farrell, 30, and Carlos Puente-Morales, 34, were in the fiery wreck at 12:40am Sunday while transporting prisoner Tosha Nicole Hyatt, 32, to Des Moines from Council Bluffs on Interstate 80. The name of the oncoming driver hasn't been released pending family notification, but Erica Shorkey, who arrived at the crash scene, tells the Des Moines Register what onlookers told her. The oncoming Taurus "was going over 100 miles an hour down the freeway the wrong way," says Shorkey. "'It was going straight as an arrow,' they said."

Farrell, apparently the first woman officer in Iowa to die in the line of duty, helped found the Polk County Jail's utility response team and fulfilled her dream of becoming a police deputy in April, the Des Moines Register reports. "Susan said she had been wanting this for so long," said Sgt. Paul Parizek as he held back tears. Puente-Morales had worked in law enforcement for years and served overseas twice, in Iraq and Afghanistan, for the Iowa National Guard. Praised by fellow officers, he's described as "an amazing man" by girlfriend Samara Brush. "Always with a smile, he never wavered in his love for me and he always offered absolute support," she says. The prisoner, Hyatt, was wanted for allegedly committing domestic abuse by strangulation. Police say it's common to move inmates to or from Council Bluffs after midnight. (Read more car accident stories.)

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